How to Create the Perfect Content Calendar [Template + Examples]

Templates, tools, and examples for content calendars

If you're in charge of content for a major company, you'll need far more than Google Calendar can provide. Fortunately, there are a slew of content calendar tools and templates available that make content production, publication, and promotion a breeze.

How do firms like HubSpot and Salesforce manage to produce so much high-quality material on a regular basis? They do have a lot of talented folks on board. Content production at scale, on the other hand, takes more than just talent. It necessitates extraordinary planning in the form of a content schedule.

Content calendars (also known as editorial calendars) assist marketers in organising all aspects of the creative publication process.

What is a content calendar, exactly?

A content calendar is a precise plan for planning and managing future content. Calendars are used by project managers, bloggers, and content creators to keep track of all content ideas, scheduling, and workflows.

Key Points

  •  Material calendars are used to keep track of content from concept through publication.
  • The content development team can synchronise goals and accomplish deadlines with the help of a well-organised content calendar.
  • A content calendar can assist a team in creating content for each funnel stage and provide a bird's-eye perspective of any content gaps that may exist in order to reach their target audience

The following parts of a brand's overall content strategy are generally included in content calendars:

  • Important dates, such as publication, sharing, and product launch, are included below.
  • Important dates in the run-up to publication
  • Each content piece's target audience section or persona
  • When possible, use a specific SEO keyword for each piece of content.
  • Who is in charge of each duty during the conception, publication, and promotion stages?
  • Promotional efforts following the publication of content.

Because organisations produce so many various forms of content, a content calendar is essential for streamlining content marketing execution and providing stakeholders with a high-level perspective of your activity.

This framework can also be applied to specific channels. A social media content calendar, for example, can help you coordinate your entire social media strategy. This may necessitate a little further information, such as hashtags, influencers, and the social media site on which you want to distribute specific material.

What is the difference between a content calendar and an editorial calendar?

While the phrases content calendar and editorial calendar are frequently interchanged, there are a few key distinctions.

Editorial calendars serve as a long-term roadmap for creating a content calendar.

They can be used to make a six-month or even a one-year content plan, but the idea is to give your content staff a monthly breakdown of themes to work with. Each month's deliverables can be based on specific concepts, events, holidays, major events, or other things that your company wants to emphasise.

Now that you have an editorial plan, your content team may start developing content that focuses on the deliverables you've identified.

This is when having a content calendar comes in handy.

Content calendars are used to keep track of and monitor the creation and promotion of content based on the editorial calendar's deliverables. Marketers may monitor where a content piece is in the production process at any time using a strategic content schedule.

In a perfect world, you'd have an editorial and content calendar in place. In fact, several businesses combine the two to achieve the best outcomes. Using both can help you meet your publishing deadlines and achieve your objectives.

What is the significance of content calendars?

Content calendars help you plan out your strategy.

Content calendars aid in the development of a unified, effective content marketing plan that is aligned with your overall business objectives. It's easy to lose sight of what you're attempting to achieve and post content that doesn't correspond with your business goals if you don't have a strategy in place.

If one of your objectives is to generate more qualified leads through organic search, the material you produce should reflect that objective. Your content schedule keeps you focused on developing material that will rank for relevant keywords rather than fashionable content that won't help you achieve your objectives.

Content calendars help you stay on track.

Content production, publication, and promotion have a lot of moving elements. Multiple team members, tools, platforms, and channels are frequently involved. Content calendars assist you in remaining organised throughout the process.

All of the duties involved, as well as who is responsible for them, are kept in one place. This keeps everyone accountable and prevents anything from falling through the gaps.

Collaboration is encouraged via content calendars.

Collaboration is also greatly facilitated by content calendars. Writers, designers, and editors may all be aware of expectations and deadlines by sharing a similar document. They can see what content is being developed, when it will be released, and any notes or comments that are pertinent.

It also guarantees that enough time is set for rewrites, revisions, and additions. It also expands the possibilities for repurposing content across many channels. To increase the reach of your story, a social media manager could compile upcoming content from a blog post and distribute it on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Editorial calendars help to keep things consistent.

Another reason content calendars are so significant is that they enable you to produce more consistently. It can be challenging to come up with new content ideas on a regular basis if you don't have a plan in place. A content calendar guarantees that you have pre-planned subjects and themes, as well as a timeframe for all of the duties.

If you don't plan ahead of time, it's tough to regularly produce high-quality material. Simply put, there are far too many stages involved.

Content calendars help you keep track of your results.

Finally, a content calendar allows you to keep track of the success of various pieces of content. Regular performance reports can assist you in improving future content by allowing you to evaluate what worked and what didn't. It also makes it easier to figure out which channels are the most effective, allowing you to better manage your resources.

You won't know if your content is helping you achieve your company objectives until you track its performance on a regular basis. You can end up wasting a lot of money on material that doesn't genuinely help your company.

How to Make a Material Calendar

 1. Determine the categories of content to be included in the calendar.

Determine the sorts of content you plan to publish as the first step in building a content schedule. There are a few things to think about.

  • Capability - Capability is a term that refers to the ability to Do you or a member of your team have the abilities required to develop the content? Infographics, for example, can be a terrific sort of material to develop, but you'll need design abilities to do so.
  • Time/Resources – Do you have the time and resources to develop high-value content for your target audience? Do you have the time and capacity to contribute when working with an agency to develop content to ensure the project stays on track and on budget?
  • Audience - What types of content do your customers respond to the most? If you offer teen clothing, TikTok can be a better way to reach your target group than a podcast. 

To continuously generate quality content, you must concentrate on the sorts that best suit your capabilities, your available time and resources, and your audience's desires.

2. Make a list of subjects and categories to work with.

The next stage is to decide which themes and categories your material will cover over the course of a certain amount of time. Consider the following suggestions to assist you in this process:

  • What are your audience's main aches and pains?
  • What are their objectives?
  • Do they have any questions that haven't been answered?
  • What terms and phrases are they looking for?

The more closely your content addresses your audience's pain spots and desires, the more effective it will be.

Topic clusters are another useful method to think about the subjects your material will cover. A topic cluster has a focal, in-depth piece of information (commonly referred to as a "pillar page") that covers a large subject at a high level. Multiple cluster pages support the pillar page, with each cluster page addressing a single topic in greater depth than the pillar page. Each cluster page has a connection to the pillar page, and vice versa.

This structure aids both search engines and humans in understanding how material is related and can result in a major SEO boost.

3. Match content to the stages of the buying process

It's critical to align your content with your audience's buying stages. Depending on where they are used in the client journey, certain forms of content are more effective.

You'll need material that highlights clients' pain issues and desires for those in the awareness stage. This might include LinkedIn posts, blog entries tailored for top-of-the-funnel keywords, free ebooks, and other resources.

Create material that educates prospects and shows them the most effective method to solve their problems or achieve their goals for those in the contemplation stage. For this step of the buyer journey, webinars, white papers, long-form blog posts, and other in-depth content are beneficial.

Those in the decision-making stage must be convinced that your product/service is superior to the competition and is the best option. Case studies, product demos, and other content that demonstrates the value of your product/service work well in this situation.

4. Create a content calendar with deadlines.

Setting deadlines for all of the tasks involved in content creation is critical when developing a content calendar. This ensures that everything is completed on time and that you are not rushing to publish something. Deadlines are a tool for taming the chaos and ensuring a consistent flow of released material when you're working with hundreds or thousands of content pieces every year.

Some of the tasks with deadlines, depending on the subject, could include:

  • Ideas and subjects for brainstorming
  • Keywords and phrases research
  • Creating rough draughts
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Creating visuals or images
  • Content creation
  • Developing social media content
  • Results Monitoring

Be realistic about how long projects will take when setting deadlines. You won't have enough time to devote to each work if you aren't realistic, and the quality of your content will suffer as a result. If you have to pick between quantity and quality, go for the latter. High-quality content helps to build your brand, attract new leads, and increase income.

5. Assign responsibilities

It's time to allocate those assignments once you've set deadlines for all of the actions involved in content creation. Every activity should be accompanied by clear expectations of what will be accomplished and the expected outcomes.

If you're giving a writer a blog post to write, for example, you should also provide them a content brief that includes:

  • What topics will be explored in detail?
  • Keywords that should be used
  • The word count that must be met
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What voice tone should you use?
  • Posts that are similar
  • Any other pertinent information

This ensures that everyone is on the same page and that expectations are clearly communicated. It is easier to achieve greater results when everyone knows what is expected of them. Make sure that everyone involved is comfortable asking questions at any time before or throughout their task.

6. Determine the channels via which your material will be distributed.

It is not sufficient to just post a piece of material. You must also deliver it to your intended audience. Rather than waiting for people to discover your material, you should actively market it through the appropriate distribution channels.

If you release a new film, for example, you may market it to your email list, on social media, on your website, through paid advertising, and so on. Not only should your content calendar include the content you'll develop, but also how you'll promote it. If you generate material but only a few people view it, it is of little use to you. It's critical to have a strategy in place for getting your content in front of your target audience.

7. Keep track of your progress.

The next step is to track the progress of your material on both a micro and macro level. On a micro level, make sure that all of your individual creation and promotion projects are on track, and that you'll be able to meet all of your deadlines.

On a larger scale, you must guarantee that your content remains connected with your company objectives. It's easy to lose sight of your major goals while you're deep in the weeds of developing multiple pieces of content. Including progress tracking in your content calendar can assist you in staying on target.

You should also keep track of the outcomes of your material. Are your total efforts assisting you in achieving the desired outcomes? Is there any content that performs better than others? What changes can you make to increase your performance?

Don't get caught up with vanity stats. If you want to generate more leads, for example, it doesn't matter how much traffic a website gets if it doesn't generate leads.

Keep your KPIs in mind and use them to direct your digital marketing activities.

Templates, tools, and examples for content calendars

If you're in charge of content for a major company, you'll need far more than Google Calendar can provide. Fortunately, there are a slew of content calendar tools and templates available that make content production, publication, and promotion a breeze.

Stridec content calendar template is also available for download. This is a tweaked version of Stridec's calendar, with columns for:

  • Content name
  • Type
  • Format
  • Objective
  • Keyword
  • Count the number of words
  • Audience
  • Date of publication
  • And there's a lot more!

Applications for content calendars


CoSchedule is a content marketing platform that allows you to plan, produce, optimise, and measure your content all in one place. It comes with a long list of features, including:

  • Calendar of content
  • Editorial strategy
  • Scheduler for social media marketing
  • A/B testing software
  • Templates for blog posts
  • WordPress Plugin


DivvyHQ is a powerful content marketing tool that automates the entire process and makes team collaboration simple. It has the following features:

  • Calendar of content
  • Asset administration
  • Collaboration within a group
  • Management of tasks
  • Automation of work processes
  • Integrations with third parties.

Examples of content calendars in a spreadsheet

It's typical to develop content calendars using spreadsheets if you don't have the funds for an all-in-one content marketing tool.

Cloud-based applications such as Google Sheets, Excel Online, and Zoho Sheets make creating a content calendar and collaborating with your marketing team on all of the activities required reasonably simple. Because you don't save assets directly in spreadsheets, using them requires extra attention to detail, but this shouldn't be a problem unless you're producing a lot of content.

There are plenty of free content calendar templates accessible for spreadsheets, which is an extra benefit. Rather than beginning from scratch, you might choose one that works best for you and build on it.

Examples of content marketing calendars from a database

Most database solutions in the past were complex, clumsy, and unsuitable for managing content production. In recent years, however, a number of powerful yet user-friendly database apps have been created.

For example, Airtable combines the ease of spreadsheets with the power of databases to make creating a functional content calendar a breeze.

Airtable even made a content calendar template exclusively for content marketing teams. Tasks can be assigned, assets can be instantly uploaded, and workflow automations are simple to set up. You can track your progress using a calendar view, Kanban boards, or a Gantt chart, depending on your preferences.

Monday, like Airtable, is a strong database programme that also doubles as a content calendar.

One standout feature is the option to produce documents right within the platform, which comes in handy for creating blog articles, white papers, and other publications.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Content Calendar

What is a content calendar, and how does it work?

A content calendar is a precise plan for planning and managing future content. Calendars are used by project managers, bloggers, and content creators to keep track of all content ideas, scheduling, and workflows.

Is there a difference between a content calendar and an editorial calendar?

They're similar, but they're not identical. An editorial calendar is a high-level strategy that outlines your content themes, types of content, and distribution methods. A content calendar, on the other hand, is a comprehensive inventory of each piece of content you'll produce for your editorial calendar.